Private drains, public pains

Public dissatisfaction over the number of times sewage is discharged into Gisborne waterways grow louder with every heavy rain we get, and Andrew Ashton sits down with two of the men gearing up for the job of going house-to-house to solve the problem. It's the engineering equivalent of urban warfare.

Public dissatisfaction over the number of times sewage is discharged into Gisborne waterways grow louder with every heavy rain we get, and Andrew Ashton sits down with two of the men gearing up for the job of going house-to-house to solve the problem. It's the engineering equivalent of urban warfare.

CLEAN-UP CREW: Gisborne District Council’s Neville West (left) and David Wilson at the Wainui Road wet weather pump station. Picture by Paul Rickard
BEFORE AND AFTER: Swathes of red indicate the areas of the Gisborne wastewater network identified as being at-risk of overflow and flooding (above). The council says this can be reduced dramatically (next picture) if a way can be found to implement $13.2 million of drainage improvements on private properties.
This image shows the expected capacity of the network after recommended pipe upgrades.
DOWNSTREAM EFFECTS: Fewer warnings to avoid swimming is one of the aims of GDC’s DrainWise project, which aims to cut the number of times wastewater is discharged to city rivers from four a year to one every two years.
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